Art & DesignHow to dress like an English gentleman

Discover the sartorial elegance and classic timeless style of the English gentleman and how to get the look in London

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An English gentleman has a very particular sartorial style: immaculately turned out, understated and without a brand name in sight. The fit and cut of a garment are testament alone to the quality of the outfitter. As with all fashion styles change over time, however, the core tenets remain the same, the cornerstone of which is a perfectly fitting suit. Here we explore how to achieve that quintessentially English look, and where to shop for it.

Exquisite Tailoring How to Dress Like an English Gentleman

 

Tailoring

With a provenance dating back to the 1840s, and synonymous with exquisite tailoring and quintessentially British style, there’s no finer address than Savile Row to find the right suit. Home to row-upon-row of tailors that range from historic outfitters that have been clothing royals and aristocracy for centuries, such as Henry Poole, Dege & Skinner and Huntsman; to edgier contemporary tailors like Richard James and Ozwald Boateng.

Tailors adapt their suits to fit almost all budgets. At the starter level you will find off-the-peg suits, which are handmade but come in certain sizes, they can be taken up or taken in to suit your measurements. Made-to-measure suits are the next rung up, they come in a range of fabrics, to a standard cut, with different options on buttons, lapel width etc. The Rolls Royce of suits is the bespoke suit, created to match your every whim, beautifully fitted, and in any fabric of your chosen, and depending on the tailor, they can be eye-wateringly expensive.

Exquisite Tailoring How to Dress Like an English Gentleman

 

Shirts

A simple white shirt in high quality cotton is your best investment and the most versatile. Go for something cut full across the chest, arms and shoulders for comfort and ease of movement, and a double cuff that reaches just a half an inch below your suit. Pockets are for casual wear and the collar should fit with a finger’s width to the neck. Jermyn Street is for shirts, what Savile Row is for suits, and you will find the finest traditional shirt makers here, from heritage Turnbull & Asser to bespoke Emma Willis.

Designer Shirts How to Dress Like an English Gentleman

 

Shoes

When it comes to shoes you will need something classic and timeless, you can’t go wrong with a pair of Oxfords or brogues and are essential footwear for a suit. If a slip-on is more your style pair them with something more casual. You’ll unearth the finest British-made footwear at John Lobb on St James’s Street, while around the corner on Jermyn Street are Edward Green and Foster & Son, London’s oldest bespoke shoemaker.

Bespoke Shoes How to Dress Like an English Gentleman

 

Hats

Hats are the crowning glory of your look; for something more formal try a fedora or a trilby, bowler hats are a cliched no-no. For something edgier try a baker boy cap, or for a Lord-of-the-Manor look, opt for a tweed flat cap. There’s only one place to pick your perfect hat: Lock & Co on St James’s Street.

 

Accessories

The devil’s in the details and here’s where the fun begins. Accessorising is the chance to inject some of your personality into your gentlemanly look. A colourful silk tie from Hilditch & Key will add a playful touch. Just make sure it doesn’t clash with your shirt and knot it up tight to the collar.

Cufflinks should never be an afterthought. Aside from keeping your cuffs nice and neat, they whisper status and add charm to your outfit. Less is more when it comes to watches and an English gentleman is more likely to favour an understated watch than a statement one. Think slimline dress watch or leather-strapped chronograph.

Formal Accessories How to Dress Like an English Gentleman

 

The smart, angular lines of a leather briefcase polish off the look. Of course, like everything else it needs to be understated and beautifully made, yet functional. Pick up briefcases in the softest of leathers, either off-the-shelf or bespoke from both Ettinger and Foster & Sons.

An English gentleman is never unkempt, so polish off your look with a traditional wet shave and manicure at Truefitt & Hill, London’s oldest barbers.

Dandy Cravats How to Dress Like an English Gentleman

Located in elegant Belgravia, moments from London’s finest gentlemanly boutiques, Jumeirah Carlton Tower and Jumeirah Lowndes Hotel are perfectly positioned to shop your new look.